What are your favorite hotels to stay during gencon?
Only "connected" hotel I've stayed at is the Conrad, which is only psedo connected as the Hyatt Skywalk and Mall close after about 11pm, but the hotel is very, very nice. My feet and legs really appreciated the soaking tub after a long day on my feet and the staff were very friendly. Never did get chance to try their pool though.
Last year we stayed at the Hyatt Regency. It was nice, and connected to the skywalk. My only complaint really was that there didn't seem to be enough elevators. We were on the seventh floor and were always waiting on an elevator.
I have stayed at the Embassy Suites probably 15 of the years Gen-Con has been in Indianapolis, and there is a reason I always come back there after the odd year my group ends up somewhere else. Great location, good and free and filling breakfast buffet, spacious rooms divided by a door so anyone who actually needs to go to bed can do so while the other people stay up too late and talk on the other side, and incredibly friendly and helpful staff. Literally my only bad experience there was that someone stole the flag our group had up outside our room, but that is not exactly the hotel's fault.
Homewood Suites is also extremely good and has even better free breakfast, though it is a little farther away and not actually in the Gen-Con hotel block so you would have to book there normally and it may well already be full. The Hampton Inn is similarly far away and has the least-good free breakfast, but staff just as great as the Embassy Suites, possibly even better, and so other than it being the loudest of the downtown hotels in my experience (could have been coincidence or just that year was loud, who knows) it is another fine choice.
The Omni Severin and Crowne Plaza are both a little fancier than either of those first two I mentioned, but fanciness is not often accompanied by practicality, so there is no free breakfast. Some of the rooms are great, but the average room there is not as spacious as the average room at the previous two I mentioned, so you might have to get an higher-tier room to really get the most out of those hotels.
The Conrad might actually be my favorite hotel as far as comfort and appearance is concerned, but its baseline price is always the highest of any nearby hotels and even being a Hilton Diamond member barely got me anything there (I think you get like a $20 room credit for food every day, which given their prices would cover, like, coffee and maybe oatmeal for two people) so I would probably only choose the Conrad in a situation where money were no object? Then again, this IS Gen-Con and sometimes that is the precise time of year I decide money is no object.
The Hyatt honestly has the best in-hotel dining in my opinion; I have not stayed there myself but a friend did and I was astounded by how good their breakfast looked, and the Fat Rooster is one of my favorite restaurants in Indianapolis despite being a little easy-to-overlook place inside the Hyatt proper.
I agree with the assessment of the Embassy and Hampton. Staybridge Suites has excellent breakfast and the suites have full kitchens while Embassy has just a mini fridge, small sink and microwave. Although it is within walking distance, it's on the other side of Lucas Oil so there isn't much else close by.
im also quite curious as well. i poster a similar question on r/gencon and quite a few responses told me that some hotels not connected, but within a few blocks are actually a better choice.
2018/19 I stayed at the Embassy Suites North on the outskirts and Uber/Lyfted into the convention. It sounds set up similar to the downtown one with two room suites, microwave, fridge, free breakfast and free drinks hour. The courtyard area always had people playing games outside of breakfast time and I think the little game shop next door (Family Time Games?) usually has events and deals during the convention.
Surprisingly good nearby food options nearby as well with a great little mexican restaurant and a McAllister's Deli right next to the hotel, and there's a Super Target just the other side of the ring road for groceries and snacks.
Unlike the downtown one I believe parking is free, though I can't say for sure as I don't like driving on the wrong side of the road so don't rent a car.
I stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites last year. It was the first time I'd ever had a connected hotel, and it was a good place. Not having to worry about the weather during the walk over was a nice benefit, and the room I had was pretty good - even had a microwave and minifridge.
The only downside is that the nearest store (can't remember what it was) is a good few blocks away, so you might want to do any supply shopping before arriving.
Any of the connected hotels are great.
Looking at that hotel list: https://www.gencon.com/gen-con-indy/hotelmap
If downtown fills up, is west side the next best option? Some of those are pretty far, like 15 miles. Is that still better than the North or East side options? Or are all of the hotels on the list reasonably fine options?
Any places specifically to avoid? I seem to recall being told to avoid some area of town...but don't recall the specifics.
With the exception of 2020 and 2021, I've been at the Embassy Suites for the last 6 or 7 Gen Cons. Hooked up through a friend of a friend. I love loading up on the breakfast buffet, and then not worrying about eating until the evening. The free drinks in the evening are nice, too.
This will be my first year trying my own luck through the housing portal. Anyone know which of the other connected hotels offer breakfast buffets?
Of course my preference is to get a connected room, but if those are gone what are some good non-connected downtown hotels?
My personal opinion, but other than a few hotels, I think the skywalk is overrated and I would be completely fine with not getting a connected room. Some of the skywalk connectivity (like Springhill/Fairfield), you are spending more time walking the skywalk and going up/down on elevators than if you just walked from point A to B.
Then again, I go back to the hotel room several times during the day so, I'm big on getting from point A to B the quickest rather than the most comfortable from a climate standpoint.
The Downtown Hilton is a good non-connected one. Only three blocks from the ICC if you use the side exit, and it's reasonably priced.
The Hampton Inn is only about a block farther away than like the Embassy Suites or Conrad, though obviously not connected by skywalk. Monument Circle is probably my favorite place to stay otherwise, as it might be a bit more of a walk but it is a very cool place visually.
Crowne Plaze, Staybridge, or the Laquinta 5 blocks away for me. Usually
start in the La Quinta the Saturday before the conn, and when possible,
switch to the Crowne or Staybridge Tuesday or Wednesday. Looks like it may be full stay
La Quinta this year. Yay for Scooters!